Metabolic Health


Reviewed by

Shifa Fathima

What is hypertension?

Popularly known as High Blood Pressure, Hypertension can lead to severe health complications by increasing the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as stroke, heart attack and heart failure, sometimes even leading to death. It is important to keep your blood pressure under control in order to preserve your health and avoid such complications. 

Hypertension Symptoms

Symptoms in hypertension are not always visible and thus it gets it’s other name “the silent killer”. If not diagnosed at a certain level, it can create high complications such as heart ailments; damage to blood vessels and also harm the kidney. 

In severe cases, symptoms such as anxiety, sleep issues, heavy sweating and hot flashes might take place. However, this is very rare and most people with this condition do not really experience any symptoms. 

In extreme cases where it leads to hypertensive cases, the affected might have headaches and nosebleeds. 

Risk factors

Some risk factors caused due to hypertension are: 

  • Age: With age, the risk of blood pressure also increases. Men are likely at the risk of high blood pressure earlier in age than women. 
  • Race:  African heritage is studied to be at the risk of high blood pressure as opposed to the whites. 
  • Family history: High BP could also be Hereditary. 
  • Being overweight or obese: The heavier you weigh, the more blood you require in order to supply oxygen as well as nutrients to your tissues. The more blood circulated through your blood vessels; there is an increase of pressure on your artery walls. 
  • Not being physically active: Your heart rate would be higher if you are inactive. In this case, the heart needs to function harder with each contraction. 
  • Using tobacco: Smoking or using tobacco in any form directly increases your blood pressure temporarily. However, the chemicals present in them can have a long term effect on your artery walls, causing your arteries to narrow which in turn increases your risk to heart diseases. 
  • Too much salt (sodium) in your diet: The sodium levels in your body can affect the fluid levels, which may increase of decrease your blood pressure. 
  • Drinking too much alcohol: Alcohol has a direct relation to heart conditions. It is important to drink in moderation if consumed regularly. While men can take up to 2 glasses a day, women should restrict themselves to one. 
  • Stress: Stress is often directly related to be an underlying cause of high BP. A lot of people rely on food, alcohol and smoking in order to ease their stress, however, one should remember that they are causes of high blood pressure as well. 
  • Certain chronic conditions: Kidney ailments, diabetes and certain other chronic diseases could also be underlying causes of high blood pressure. 

Causes of Hypertension 

Hypertension is often caused due to an underlying health condition, while it is not very specific. If an underlying condition is the cause of an increase of your blood pressure, it is called secondary hypertension. The causes of hypertension can depend on the type of hypertension; primary or secondary. 

Multiple factors could result in primary hypertension causes that may include:

  • High volume of blood plasma 
  • Hormonal activity level in people with blood pressure
  • Stress or the lack of regular exercise

The cause of secondary hypertension is very specific and is a complication of an underlying disease or health issue. The chronic kidney disease is one the most common cause of high levels of blood pressure. This is due to the fact that the kidneys don’t filter out fluids from the body anymore, leading to hypertension. 

Some common conditions that can lead to hypertension include:

How is hypertension diagnosed

One important way to detect hypertension is to check your blood pressure often. Doctors may be able to check and provide hypertension treatment if you have been hypertension diagnosed. 

Doctors may take multiple readings throughout the day in order to diagnose whether you have hypertension or not. This is due to the fact that our blood pressure levels may vary throughout the day. 

Hypertension Treatment 

A combination of medicinal intervention and lifestyle changes is the treatment provided for hypertension.

With regards to medication, doctors may prescribe tablets based on the underlying condition that caused hypertension in the first place. Some of the common medications are Diuretics, Beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors and vasodilators. These are generally prescribed in more severe cases depending on the root of the problem. 

Consequently, doctors will also advice a healthy lifestyle such as nutritious diet, regular exercise and stress-busting activities as a part of your treatment. It is also important to cut down on any alcohol practices and smoking habits that you may have in this case. 

Hypertension prevention

Balancing a healthy lifestyle is the best way to prevent hypertension for anyone. Few simple ways to create a healthier lifestyle are: 

  1. Eat nutritious food – eat healthful, add a lot of protein and veggies to your diet. 
  2. Exercise – spend at least 30mins a day exercising. Be it walking, jogging, dancing, cycling or any kind of movement. 
  3. Meditate – meditating every day will help you relax and avoid stress by managing situations calmly. 

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